Vegas agents watch for stolen emplosives
LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas ATF agents are keeping an eye out for 1,000 pounds of explosives that were stolen from a northern Arizona quarry last week.
According to Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Sam Whitted, 750 pounds of fuel-soaked ammonium nitrate and 250 pounds of dynamite disappeared from a sandstone quarry 20 miles southwest of Williams.
Timothy McVeigh used 4,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people.
B.J. Zapor, resident agent in charge of the Las Vegas bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said that while the Phoenix office is investigating the case, he is keeping local law enforcement officials abreast of the situation.
While the missing material is not nearly as much as used by McVeigh, Zapor said the lethal nature of an explosive such as ammonium nitrate has as much to do its placement as the amount.
However, the theft of the explosives will have no effect on security plans already made for New Year’s Eve, Zapor said. Those plans were started six months ago and provide for every possible scenario.
Besides, Zapor said, no one knows why the explosives were taken.
”There are no routine firearms or explosives thefts, but we have no intelligence that this was taken for a specific purpose,” Zapor told the Las Vegas Sun.
At this point investigators are looking at all possibilities, including an inside job, Whitted said. He declined to comment on any physical evidence that may have been found at the scene.